In the midst of all the chaos, violence and unrest in Egypt, something hopeful has happened. Here’s a photo:
In case you’re wondering what you’re looking at, that’s a group of Christian protesters linking hands around a group of Muslims protesters, protecting them while they pray. And, that’s not the first time this has happened over there. After the bombing of a Coptic Christian Church in Alexandria last month, thousands of Muslims turned out to act as human shields for Christian services and prayer vigils around the country saying “We either live together, or we die together”. Think about that for a minute; in a land where Christians, Jews and Muslims have been doing their best to exterminate each other, people have put aside sectarianism and loved each other the way Jesus asked.
I was heartened by this response to violence, especially coming from an area that seems to thrive on it. Then, I checked my email and found a notice from Newsmax, a Republican/conservative online magazine, (gotta keep up with the other side) with the following headline: “Obama Wants Radical Muslims in New Egyptian Government“. When I opened it, I found an article proclaiming that the President wants to put the Muslim Brotherhood to work “opening up the electoral system in an effort to bring about free and fair elections in September”. There was another link to a special report called “The United States of Islam“. You have to subscribe to read this one, but the teaser says “A fast-growing Muslim minority is making its voice heard in America. Some applaud the trend, while others worry that our traditional Judeo-Christian culture is at risk.” Why, that’s not scary at all, is it?
Couple this with Dove World Outreach Center’s plan to burn a Quran and the stink over Cordoba House last year and Americans look like crap in comparison. Right-wingers may insist that the United States is a Christian Nation, but we aren’t acting like it. Or are we? The history of Christianity is filled with instances of hate and fear driving it’s adherents to commit terrible acts. Things like the Inquisition and the Crusades come to mind and those just the easy ones to remember. I’d like to think we’re past that sort of thing, but how many American Christians would turn out to act as human shields for Muslims daily prayers? And, if they did what would other Christians say about them?